Dr. Morris Simon, 79, a Harvard radiologist and medical innovator who developed a widely used flexible filter to catch and dissolve clots in the bloodstream, died Jan. 17 in Boston. He had a history of heart problems, and the cause was apparently cardiac arrest.
In developing his device, the Simon nitinol vena cava filter, he began research in the 1960s with an untested metal alloy of nickel and titanium. The alloy, called nitinol, had been created for military and aerospace applications, and it could be manipulated to change shape at different temperatures.
In its colder and compact form, his filter is inserted into a patient through a catheter, then expands to full size when warmed by the patient's body. The filter locks in place near the heart, acting as a sieve to stop blood clots traveling toward the lungs. The device entered clinical testing in the 1980s, was approved and remains in use today.
Edward F. McLaughlin Jr., 84, a former Massachusetts lieutenant governor who became close friends with President John F. Kennedy while the two served together in the Navy during World War II, died Friday at a nursing home on Cape Cod.
Mr. McLaughlin, a Democrat, was lieutenant governor under John Volpe, Republican governor from 1961 to 1963. It was the last time the governor and lieutenant governor were from different parties; a 1966 constitutional amendment required candidates from the same party to run as a team. Mr. McLaughlin, who had served on the Boston City Council in the 1950s, ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1962.
He served with Mr. Kennedy in the same PT boat squadron in the Solomon Islands. The two became friends, discussing Boston politics during off-duty hours. When Mr. McLaughlin was hospitalized with dengue fever, Mr. Kennedy was put in the adjoining bed after he was rescued from the sinking of the PT-109.
Nell Rankin, 81, a mezzo-soprano who sang with the Metropolitan Opera for more than two decades and performed in such marquee roles as Carmen and Amneris in Verdi's Aida, died Jan. 13 in New York City of polycythemia vera, a bone marrow disease.
Born in Montgomery, Ala., she earned money for her studies at the Birmingham Conservatory of Music by teaching swimming lessons. She moved to New York for further training and performed at Town Hall in 1947. She made her opera debut in 1949 as Ortrud in Wagner's Lohengrin in Zurich, Switzerland.
Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, 91, a wartime courier for the Polish anti-Nazi resistance and the director of Radio Free Europe's Polish service during the Cold War, died Friday, Polish officials said.
He fought in the brief 1939 campaign after Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland. After Poland's defeat and occupation, he joined the resistance movement and fought in the 1944 Warsaw uprising against the Nazis. He was a courier between the Polish government-in-exile in London and the Polish underground resistance in German-occupied Poland, completing five trips.